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Recap / The Simpsons S16 E21: "The Father, the Son, and the Holy Guest Star"

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Original air date: 5/15/2005

Production code: GABF-09

When Bart is unjustly expelled for an incident at a medieval-themed fair at school that wasn't his fault, he's sent to a Catholic private school led by an Irish priest (voiced by guest star Liam Neeson) who shows Bart and Homer the fun side of the Catholic religion. Naturally, Ned, Marge, and Reverend Lovejoy (who are Protestant) don't agree.


  • Bad Boss: Skinner gives Willie the single worst job in the fair, encouraging kids to throw things at him.
  • Cassandra Truth: Practically nobody believes in Bart's pleas of innocence regarding the prank he was expelled for, what with his history of playing pranks on people.
  • Crisis of Faith: The premise of the episode. Bart and Homer convert to Catholicism after the former is sent to a Catholic school, while Marge, Ned and Lovejoy disapprove.
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  • Celestial Bureaucracy: A follow inhabitant of Protestant Heaven explains this to Marge.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: One of Homer's confessionals is that he's masturbated eight billion times and has no plans to stop masturbating in the future.
  • Distant Finale: After Bart convinces the Catholics and Protestants to get along, the episode ends on a fade to 1000 years later, where two armies are fighting over the words of "God's last prophet, Bart Simpson."
  • Dramatic Gun Cock: Parodied in the climactic Mexican Standoff when all four get a closeup of pumping their guns.
  • Dramatic Irony: Audience members can't help but feel sorry for Bart when he's getting flak from everyone for something they [the audience] know Willie was responsible for.
  • Driver Faces Passenger: Reverend Lovejoy spends a disturbingly long time looking backwards while driving. Jesus must have taken the wheel.
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  • Dumbass Has a Point: Lisa agrees with Homer when he declares that he and Bart should be allowed to pick their own religion and helps him and Father Sean by telling them where Marge took Bart.
  • Easily Condemned: Bart is expelled for Willie's prank, even when he says he didn't do it. In fact his family refuses to believe him. But given his history of trouble making it's easy to come to conclusion he may have done it.
  • Eskimos Aren't Real: When Lisa mentions how she decided to convert to Buddhism, Father Sean thinks she's talking about an imaginary friend.
  • Fluffy Cloud Heaven: Marge's Imagine Spot has Heaven depicted up in the clouds.
  • Hell of a Heaven: Protestant Heaven is this for Marge since Homer and Bart are in Catholic Heaven.
  • Jerkass Ball: In most other episodes, Marge is usually the reasonable and friendly Foil when Homer is being foolish or reckless or Innocently Insensitive. In this episode, however, Marge suddenly has a fear and hatred of Catholics for no apparent reason other than because the plot says so. She doesn't even get a Freudian Excuse explaining why.
  • Jerkass Realization: Bart once again, he calms everyone down when he explains that Catholics and Protestants are both Christians, which got both sides to agree.
  • Karma Houdini: Groundskeeper Willie doesn't get punished for the stunt he pulled and lets Bart take the blame.
  • Moral Myopia: Lisa chews out Bart for ruining the fair for her (not believing he was innocent). She ignores that she was having fun but he wasn't due to their respective roles, Lisa being a queen and Bart having to carry around a heavy barrel while everyone abused him, especially Lisa.
  • Mundane Afterlife: Protestant Heaven has cricket and badminton, while Catholic Heaven has a Mexican fiesta, Italian dinner, and Irish dancing.
  • Not Helping Your Case: Despite Bart's innocence, smugly insulting Skinner wasn't very smart on Bart's part, to say the least.
  • Not Me This Time: Bart tries to explain he’s innocent and didn’t do anything wrong despite having a reason to sabotage the fair, which is true, but nobody believes him.
  • Overly Specific Afterlife: Marge has a daydream where Heaven is divided between the Protestants and the Catholics after Bart and Homer convert to the latter.
  • The Scapegoat: Bart is forced to take the blame for the accident, despite the fact it was all Willie's doing.
  • Standing in the Hall: Bart is forced into this while at a private Catholic school.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: It's never shown how Bart gets back into Springfield Elementary or if he is ever proven innocent of Willie's prank.
  • White Anglo-Saxon Protestant: During Marge's Imagine Spot, Protestant heaven is populated by herself and snobby yuppies playing croquet.